Jack E. Brown, was a principal founder in Midland-based Wagner and Brown, Ltd., an independent oil and gas company. A San Antonio native, Brown entered Texas A&M just three days after graduating from Breckinridge High School in 1942. He entered the U.S. Army a year later to serve in World War II and was among the first occupation troops in Japan. Brown returned to Texas A&M in 1947, graduating in 1950 with bachelor's degrees in petroleum and mechanical engineering. He immediately began his oilfield career as a roughneck in Abilene. Later he worked in Alice, Texas, and Venezuela before returning to the Permian Basin. In 1962, Brown and two other partners formed a company, now Wagner & Brown, Ltd., with exploration and production interests in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, Michigan, Kansas, Wyoming and Mississippi. The company has helped drill more than 2,500 wells and currently has more than 170 employees in its Midland, Houston, field and affiliate company offices. Brown's non-energy business interests include financial investments, real estate and a company that manufactures fueling and compression systems and equipment for vehicles operating on compressed natural gas.

Brown served on the board of numerous Midland organizations including Midland College, Midland Community Theatre and the Petroleum Museum. He and his wife (Frances) had three children - Van Brown; Peggy Brown Ingram, Texas A&M Class of '97; and Patrick A. Brown, Texas A&M Class of '80 - and 12 grandchildren.

Brown passed away Aug. 24, 2015 in Midland, Texas.